I was asked to share my cornbread recipe and although I’d love to take complete credit for the greatness of this cornbread, I have to give the nod to Peter Reinhart’s amazing book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This book is fabulous. Each recipe will make you want to bake your own bread from now on. Everything I’ve tried has been out of this world. A definitely great resource if you like to bake breads of all kinds.
Ok, back to Cornbread. I have adapted this recipe slightly to fit my own needs. I will admit, I cook off the cuff quit a bit and don’t always plan ahead enough to do “overnight” type additions to my meals. In the original recipe Reinhart calls for soaking coarse cornmeal (aka polenta) overnight in buttermilk. What I do is use regular cornmeal and soak it in the buttermilk while I do the rest of the recipe. Works great for me and the results are spot on. I also omit the bacon most of the time. It’s fantastic with it, but also without. And last but not least, it will seem as though this will turn out sweet with the additions of sugar, brown sugar and honey but I assure you it’s not. It gives it depth of flavor and is quite savory. Now let’s get to it. Here’s the entire recipe and you can choose to do it how you’d like. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Cornbread with Crispy Bacon and Corn
1 c cornmeal
2 c buttermilk
10 slices thick cut bacon
1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c brown sugar, firmly packed (light)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp bacon fat or vegetable oil
1) Preheat the oven to 375. Lay out the bacon on 2 sheet pans. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon strips to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Save 2 tbsp of the bacon fat for greasing your pan later.
2) In a small bowl mix together the cornmeal and buttermilk and set aside.
3) Lower the temp to 350. Stir together with a whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and then stir it in to the flour mixture along with the granulated sugar & brown sugar. Dissolve the honey in the warm butter and add to flour mixture along with the soaked cornmeal & buttermilk. Lastly stir in the frozen or fresh corn.
4) Add the bacon fat to a 10 inch round cake pan or a 9 x 13 dish. Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes or until the fat gets very hot. Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the cornbread batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and press them into the batter slightly.
5) Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6) Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.